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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Clinton 15, Us 10, Washington 8, America 6, Joe Biden 6, Benghazi 5, U.s. 4, Biden 4, Ron Johnson 4, Officemax 3, Selma 3, Wayne Lapierre 3, Joan 2, Iowa 2, Usaa 2, Barack Obama 2, Anne Wagner 2, Brown 2, Howard Fineman 2, Chris Christie 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 23, 2013
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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were also literacy tests with impossible questions that they would ask people to answer. such as how many bubbles on a bar of soap? how many jelly beans in a jar? but amazingly, today, some conservatives are even trying to co-opt the civil rights movement itself. to advance their right wing agenda on everything from guns to women's health. >> the modern equivalence of the civil rights act is that you people defending and loyal to the second amendment are not the bull connors, you're the martin luther kings. you're the people matching at selma. you're having your civil rights denied. >> the government doesn't have a role in contraception. government does have a role in protecting your civil rights. especially today, on martin luther king day. >> i think martin luther king would agree with me if he were
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alive today that if african americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. >> two misquote leaders and figures that fought for freedom and inequality is dishonest. to misuse them is disgraceful. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. hillary kicks butt. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. secretary of state hillary clinton was at her best today appearing between both senate and house committees on foreign affairs. she showed acuity, humility, and charm. she showed candor and humility
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in place of the state department handling of the horror. she admitted to -- in response to hostile questions she came back with strength and a challenge of her own. hillary, hillary, hillary. she never looked better. venturing forth in unprotected waters today she showed how not to sweat. also how to exhibit humanity and compassion. even when the witnesses are looking desperately to target her weaknesses. again, it was a magnificent display of smarts, i think. guts definitely and caring. she looked ever bit like a person who could run for president, run well, win big, and serve confidently. what a day it's been for the progressive side of american politics. what a great week it's been and it's only wednesday. let's hear what our guests think. howard fineman is with "the huffington post." joan walsh is with the salon. i'll start with joan. i want to get your thoughts.
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let's show a clip of this. here's secretary clinton getting into some heated points today. this morning, by the way, she said that there was never an effort to mislead americans about whether the benghazi attack was spontaneous or planned ahead of time. that headed off a heated conversation with the right wing crowd in the senate. he said the administration should have been in contact with survivors to get a better sense of what happened. secretary clinton pointed out there was an fbi investigation and is still going on. it will take some time. let's take a look at what she said. >> when you're in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process -- >> i realize that. >> number two -- >> i realize that's a good excuse -- >> no, it's a fact. number two, i would recommend highly you read both what the arb said about it and the classified arb because even today there are questions being raised.
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now, we have no doubt they were terrorists. they were militants. attacked us. they killed our people. but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing -- >> no, no, no -- again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that. and that was easily ascertained that was not the fact. the american people could have known that within days and they didn't. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd kill americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can do prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> that was kind of a pissant performance from that guy. i think they won in a low turn in elections in wisconsin. i think everybody should run now. go into elections where there's a lot of voters so you don't get this weird warped sense of
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people who supposedly represent the american electorate. that guy doesn't represent anybody. your thoughts. the current secretary of state's performance today against the performance on the side of the right. >> he was so overmatched, ron johnson. he opened questions by saying it could have been taken a very simple phone call to ascertain the truth. my god, did he look at the pictures of that carnage? nothing was very simple. he proved he's very simple. his questions were disrespectful and i was thrilled that she got angry at him. women are sometimes told never to get emotional or angry. she did both. she choked up a bit in her introduction and got angry at ron johnson as she should. she lectured rand paul. on had i been president, you would have been fired. >> to consider the prospect of rand paul. but he's got none. >> he has a healthy imagination. >> you mentioned compassion and feeling. when she referred to the late ambassador chris, happens to be
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my name, and constantly hearing her talk about chris, she had a feeling of common human nature with that guy. that a lot of these clowns didn't even get near today. here she is. and phrase choked up when she discussed speaking to the families of the victims of that terrible day. let's look. >> i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children. it has been one of the great honors of my life to lead the men and women of the state department and usaid. nearly 70,000 serving here in washington, more than 270 posts around the world. they get up and go to work every day often in difficult and
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dangerous circumstances because they believe as we believe the united states is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known. >> you know, there's no doubt whatever you think of hillary clinton's politics, she's a democrat. and if you're a republican i guess you disagree with her. fine. but the sense of purpose she has is real. real purpose. not just ambition. and the fact that she has shared purpose with people like the late chris stevens is real. why do they challenge that? why do you think somehow she screwed the guy? she didn't come to his defense? why do they keep going in that direction like today some did again? >> well, they made the mistake of doing that, chris. in part because hillary represents to them a whole lot more than just a functionary at the state department. >> but she's not a lefty. she's a moderate person politically. she's to my right. >> it's not even that. it's she's a major figure in
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american political life and in american political history. a force of her own on her own and they're not. so that's part of it. >> is this gulliver's travels? she's surrounded by little people trying to tie her down? >> i do think there were some legitimate questions. i think there's been an honest attempt to get most of those questions answered, number one. number two, i think the republicans without calling them clowns or pissants or whatever -- >> sometimes those words are appropriate. >> i would say if they really wanted to seriously understand what was going on and what did go on, they wouldn't have approached it the way they did. >> yeah. >> they were just throwing everything against the wall. we have questions about your motives, about why you said what you said when you said. we want to know what the security arrangements were. we want to know what the funding was. all of it was an all-sides attack that undercut whatever legitimacy they had for the seriousness of her purpose. and when hillary then
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indignantly asked what difference does it make at this point. what she was saying is you're asking these questions for political reasons. because the only possible answer to my rhetorical question about what difference does it make now is is that you're trying to score political points. she got the upper hand politically. >> let's watch this. secretary clinton was strongly criticized by some republicans. senator rand paul said if he had been president he would have fired her. let's listen to this. >> i'm glad you're accepting responsibility. i think that ultimately with your leaving you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. and i really mean that. had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. i think it's inexcusable not to know of the requests for securities. i think it cost these people their lives. >> what he's saying here is something i've never heard
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before. he's basically saying she's resigning out of embarrassment. everybody has known for months she planned to and did serve a full presidential term. this was always the plan. and for him to now sneak this in saying i think that ultimately with your leaving you accept the culpability. where did that come from? that's not honest at all. >> he's delusional. he's a legend in his own mind. he could see himself as president. he's trying to get it on the record that this is why she's resigning which we all know is preposterous. i think this started out in the beginning as a kind of effort to impeach candidate president obama before the elections to say they were dissembling about the strength of al qaeda. and now it's turning into a way to try to disable the strongest democrat. now, we don't know whether she'll run, and she's had health issues. but we learned two things today. she's healthy.
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she looked great. we learned she can stand up to this onslaught on benghazi. this is not despite what rand paul thinks he can do. >> here's what i liked about her today. absolute confidences. it wasn't an argument she was stating. it was facts. against these clowns that didn't have the facts. my old boss tip said ronald reagan's grace was his voice. the beautiful voice she has. then you have that combined with tremendous brief. she had her brief today. these other guys didn't. it wasn't a campaign spot today. it was a demonstration of ability. and she had it. by the way if she doesn't run for president performing the way she did today, i don't know why. because the way she performed today was winning. a winning performance. >> well, well, chris. look. hillary's the ultimate survivor. the ultimate professional. the ultimate master of briefs. she's been through confrontations and situations
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politically that make the thing she did today look like batting practice and spring training. i mean, she's confident at what she did. i think most people would say, most fair-minded people would say that she's been a terrific secretary of state. and she's on her way out the door now and these people are grabbing her by the ankles on the way out the door. that's the way it felt, and she was able by strategically using her anger and be dignified and knowing her topic to make them all look small. they were trying to look big and equal to her and didn't. >> i have the image of these guys going home tonight to caves. i think they look like guys who had come -- i'm sorry. i'm heading back to my cave where i live. the behavior of these guys like johnson and paul. the grueling continued this afternoon in the house where jeff duncan accused secretary clinton of knowing in advance of the attack and suggested she should have resigned. an old argument here. let's take a look. >> madam secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap and that's national security
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malpractice. you said you take responsibility. what does responsibility mean, madam secretary? you're still in your job. >> last thought, joan. that's the sniping she took today. >> that's an ignorant person. that's an ignorant person. she took it well. her anger as howard said was strategic. she was dignified. she won. >> i think she was very good at answering the key worst case argument against her that somehow the day of the event that facility was under fire and those people were about to get killed, did she turn down the request for help. that never happened. the worst case argument was gone so they had to go back to the old argument that somebody said something on "meet the press" they shouldn't have said to which we still don't know the answer because the fbi investigation is still underway. >> the way to look at this is the last act of the 2012 republicans.
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and the first desperate act of the 2016 campaign. >> they don't look like today's men by the way. out of date. thank you howard fineman and joan walsh. i knew you'd love this one. i loved it to. coming up, one person watching today was vice president joe biden. yes, there are still 1,385 days until the next election day but there is plenty of talk he is out for the presidency. could this be the great primary fight of the democratic history? plus new thoughts from pro-gun people. new thoughts if you tall them that. one says citizens should have the same weaponry as the u.s. military so they can defend themselves against the u.s. military. and once again wayne lapierre of the nra is making an all out call to oppose all new measures for safety -- gun safety. he's against it all. plus the right wing chorus
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calls the president's inaugural address too liberal. but the latest poll shows that most americans happen to agree with the president. what's the problem? let me finish tonight with what we saw all day. a strong, confident, and happy secretary of state hillary clinton in a winning performance. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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republicans in the northeast of this country that criticize. chris christie is soaring. 74% approve of the job he's done. according to new quinnipiac poll. and what's more a margin of 5 to 1 they say he was right to criticize republicans including the leaders for delaying the vote on hurricane sandy relief. we'll be right back. he's big up there. while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds.
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we're back.
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and i said what a day. hillary clinton's strong performance today was a reminder to many that she would be a formidable candidate. who doesn't know that, in 2016. today we got hints about another one. vice president joe biden. he clearly wants to run. he seems to be laying the groundwork for a run which he was asked about on cnn yesterday. let's listen to what he said. >> is there any reason you wouldn't run? >> there's a whole lot of reasons why i wouldn't run. i haven't made that decision and i don't have to make that decision for awhile. >> so are you ready to run against hillary clinton in 2016? >> i haven't made that judgment and hillary hasn't made that judgment. but i can tell you what. everything that should be done over the next two years that i should be part of would have to be done whether i run or i don't run. if this administration is successful, whoever is running as a democrat is better positioned to win. if we're not successful, whoever
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runs as a nominee is going to be less likely to win. >> well, brand new poll out today from the washington post and abc news shows how popular hillary clinton is. she's not quite at chris christie's level in jersey but close nationally. 67% say they have a favorable view of her. joe biden is viewed favorably by 48%. he's been in the line of fire. and until today secretary clinton wasn't. looks like biden is making a run. let's talk about this. i think he's one of the best columnists around right now. and nia-malika henderson is with the post. she's just starting. the big guns coming out in her career. let's talk about this. we have a nice mix here. let me talk about i'm a pure political person. it's all i think about is politics most of the time.
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>> nothing wrong with that. >> i think biden is trying to get his foot in early and maybe hope she'll not decide to run and he'll be there. he also hopes putting his foot down early, establishing new facts like i'm running may slightly intimidate her not to run. one more thing to fight with is a fight in iowa. and she doesn't plan to go out to iowa and play that game. first question, is biden running? >> we don't know. we don't know if -- in some ways he's been running since 1998. his performance, it was classic biden. he clearly enjoys this stuff. i think it all depends on hillary clinton. >> okay. >> he can't scare her away. she's not scared of anyone. >> i want some more skin in the game here, nia. is the president helping him by
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giving him jobs like the fiscal cliff negotiations? >> i don't think that helps. >> giving him the gun issue. >> i don't think that helps him ultimately because it puts him in the line of fire. his approval ratings will likely decline in the way obama's will decline over the next year. hillary clinton will be off safe somewhere not political skin in the game. >> look, it may hurt him in a general election, but i would say joe biden would be thrilled to have to worry about a 2016 general election. i do think guns, if he can do something, helps him. helps with the inside crowd. and i do think -- if you would ask joe biden today, hey, joe. and it wasn't on television, are you running for president you know what he'd say? yes. and i don't think he would pause. >> although hillary clinton is formidable. it's "saturday night live." it's the parodies. >> that's right. >> those guys, they decide to caricaturize you, you're dead. hillary clinton came across
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today as presidential. listen to her. >> today after four years in this job, traveling nearly a million miles, visiting 112 countries, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words united states of america touches down in some far-off capital, i feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. >> you know, again, it's tricky to talk about fashion and everything. i think everything she did today, the hair, the suit, the glasses was very serious and very attractive, likable for a political figure of her age. i think she came across perfect today. your thoughts.
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>> imagine all the other people. andrew cuomo, joe biden, imagine them in a situation like this. they're not the secretary of state. but what this does, it demonstrates that she has both massive understanding of how washington works and massive ability. she spent the equivalent of a full day facing many adversary i can't tell questions. you know what we're talking about? we're talking about her performance, maybe ron johnson or rand paul. you know what we're not talking about? hillary clinton made news in a bad way on benghazi. do not underestimate how hard it is to talk for seven full hours and basically keep the story that you've been telling. the same story at the end of the day that -- >> what i like, i liked her candor. she didn't come on and straight
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arm the thing and say we did everything right. people died. a close friend of hers died, chris stevens. she talk about terms of resources and priorities. they weren't always right on priorities. they didn't have enough money. she admitted they would change the system afterwards. to handle the high security problems. she admitted all that. it was a layout in terms of okay we're not perfect. we blew it in a way. we're not the worst people on earth, but we didn't do it right. >> she talked like somebody in the arena. those are the people who get the credit. i also think the big question for 2016 is who can carry -- who can make the obama coalition the democratic coalition. and if you look at those numbers, the washington post poll, she's high favorability among african-americans, among women, among hispanics, and lower educated voters. >> do you think she will run the way the george w. bush's father did after a third term for reagan? >> no. >> her ego -- >> right. but in terms of -- i think that's right. but in terms of the attachment and the enthusiasm of the base of the democratic voters, she has that. >> we're going to jump on it. i think she historically is to the left of jackson, somewhere around humphrey. right in the middle of the democratic party historically. she said we're the indispensable country. none of this pulling back, come home america. >> yes. tough, but one other point. you know what she did? she did concede we made mistax
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but she also when tested by ron johnson most notably, she did not back down. the liberal base of the party didn't want hillary clinton to go and concede everything on benghazi because they believe she did the best of her ability. i think the wins points say everything didn't go perfectly but i'm not going to stand here and let you attack me and say we're to blame for everybody. >> jim demint's favorite senator. didn't look good today. thank you very much. we'll be right back. i wasn't being sarcastic. you're great. this is "hardball," the place for politics. twins. i didn't see them coming.
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fourth swearing in ceremony. president obama took the fourth oath of office. they had to do it a second time in 2009 because justice roberts botched the language on the first attempt. but you know what that say, fourth time is a charm. >> i, barack obama do solemnly swear that i will faithly execute the office of the president of the united states. >> republy kachbs were less than elated on inauguration day. it was another reminder that the election didn't go go their way. >> obama's inaugural speech, swing and a miss. >> where was the debt? where was the deficit? where was the unemployment? where was the issue of poverty in america which has increased under his watch?
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where is the hopeless necessary? >> yeah, where was the hopelessness? that's what the american public wants. have we forgotten fdr's famous inaugural when he proclaimed the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. and, also, a second depression, rampant starvation and my gut's telling me that europe's a tinderbox. oh, what's the point? we're all doomed. i can't walk. i can't walk. >> we are looking at four more years of this guy. and thanks to obama care, we might live to see it. >> finally, missouri republican anne wagner just took over todd aiken's seat in the 113th congress. yesterday, she played up her status as a washington outsider when discussing budget negotiations. >> i'm a freshman. i'm new. ifgs sworn in just three weeks ago today as a new member of the 113th congress.
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i don't think how they do things in washington, d.c. >> but if the name anne wagner rings a bell with you, it's because she was for four years co-chair of the republican national committee. i wonder if it would have played well with the bush campaign if she would have informed them back then that she was clueless about how things worked in washington. wow. still ahead, president obama's inaugural address left some sort of left wing manifesto. far out of the american mainstream. so why do so many mainstream americans agree with everything that the president put forward in his speech on monday. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge,
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hey there, i'm veronic veronica de la cruz. women in the u.s. armed forces will soon be able to serve in combat roles.
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the sol si is expected to be eliminated tomorrow. the house extended the debt limit until mid may. it allows the government to borrow enough money and avoid default. the deep freeze in much of the eastern u.s. with winter warnings in effect across much of new england. back to "hardball." we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths that all of us are created equal is the star that guides us still just as it guided our forebearers through seneca falls and selma, and stonewall. >> new polling on this. welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama monday a couple days ago at his inaugural address. it was lines like that one that has defeated the right.
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anyway, it's got the defeated right braying about mr. obama's so-called liberal manifesto. how out of the mainstream he is. when you look at polls lately the more you can argue he's moving with public opinion. let's go to the evidence starting with gay marriage. here's what the president said. >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. >> kind of the black church sound there. i love when he does that on a big platform. anyway, is that out of the mainstream? according to our nbc poll last month, a clear majority 51% say they favor same-sex marriage. next, immigration.
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here is the president on monday. >> our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. until bright young students and engineers are listed in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. >> was that out of the mainstream no? 52% believe they should be allowed to have status. many were surprised with this one. look at what he said. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avod the devastating impact of raging
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fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms 37. >> well, how about that? was that out of the mainstream? a poll by the associated press and gfk last month showed 78% of americans believe temperatures have gone up worldwide in the past century. and lastly, government programs. president obama took a shot at republicans when he said this about entitlements. >> the commitments we make to each other through medicare and medicaid and social security, these things do not zap our initiative. they strengthen us. they do not make us a nation of takers. they free us to take the risks that make this country great. >> i'll take that poll. the public's predominantly in favor here. when we polled on medicare, 54% said it only needed minor modifications if anything. joining us david corn and michael scherer. gentlemen, thank you.
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i didn't know this until you put it all together. i have a sense that on the right if you're a moderate positions like these polls say, you're considered a liberal. if you're in the middle, the right sees you as the left. it's true. what do you think? >> well, i think the right is screaming that this is a liberal speech which should come as no surprise. barack obama has always been a progressive democrat. a pragmatist as a government manager, but progressive in his values. >> i know you're on the progressive side. would you call his speech out of the mainstream on the left side? >> no. i would say he was putting forward the most popular elements of the progressive tradition. which is a safety net, having government invest in the economy, build fracture of the highway system like eisenhower did.
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i think they're more liberal and mainstream than they've been because the right has moved so far to the right they don't want to see government doing anything. and that's not -- i don't think that's what the -- >> and this is a nonpartisan assessment. the democratic party is where they've always been. in some cases moderate than others. the republican party, however, has moved from a center right party i believe towards the rightist party much more so. >> over the last few years. it's also true this speech represented a shift for obama. just a few months ago he was in ohio competing with mitt romney who could love coal more. he wasn't talking about gun control during the campaign. now he's talking about gun control. he's started spinning forward. >> he never played the luddite role. romney talked about switching positions. went from a guy saying of course there's global warming problems to i don't believe it. right? that was a battle on the campaign between a guy who believed in global warming and a guy who denied it. >> well, he denied whether man had a role.
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he said there is global warming. he never did. but he did -- >> he didn't push the buttons, no. >> and on this he's not saying exactly what he's going to do. he's still burned on taking the votes on global warming before the 2010 elections. a lot of people lost their seats in part because of that. i'm curious to see how he moves this forward. there's no big -- >> a couple things now that are going to be very tough if you're a progressive. guns is always tricky business because they keep records who voted against them. and this issue of climate. because i look at states like kentucky, west virginia, western pennsylvania. >> sure. you have democrats -- >> that's tough. >> but michael's right in one sense. that this speech was about emphasizing. he didn't flip on any issues.
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what he said in the speech he said in the past. but he spoke a lot to his own people. when he said seneca falls, stonewall, and selma, those are -- you know, i don't want to say they're buzz words or code words but basically to his own base saying, listen. the next four years i'm going to fight hard for the things we collectively believe in. and we may get imperfect results, but this is what i'm going to try to do. >> here's where i think he was probably outside the mainstream. if you listen to the president, he never really brought up debt problems. the concerns that most americans do feel we have a problem. we have $16 trillion in debt now. they are worried because they see what happened in greece and portugal and ireland and all those places. they are worried.
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as a progressive, he didn't get that. >> he also barely mentioned jobs which i thought was stunning. and because he just won an election on jobs. everyone agrees that election was about jobs. >> why didn't he bring up jobs? >> because it's not something he can really do much about given the current congressional makeup. and this was a base rallying speech. this was a speech to say to the people who elected him this is not like it was in 2009. i'm your guy now. we need to storm the castle. where in 2009 democrats controlled the congress and he was about negotiating with his own party. >> also he had some hope to use the word, that you could come up with bipartisan solutions. you could work with this congress. particularly when the economy was in free fall and you'd say okay let's get together and do some of the things that republicans and democrats have always agreed to. i think four years later he certainly is a lot wiser on that front. >> you have a sense in the last couple days, michael you too, that republicans are beginning to recognize they're off base. maybe he judged too early the notion he couldn't deal with these guys. >> he'll deal with them but he thinks he only way is to bring a gun to the gun fight.
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he wants to play this as an outside game mobilizing the country. he's not willing to play an inside game where he looks like he's part of the problem again. so he's positioning himself. i think he will come to the table on immigration. >> i think republicans are cracking. >> but i think keeping the pressure on is essential. because what are the republicans doing now in the house? they're attacking the senate. because they realize that obama has mobilized part of the public against them and -- >> the only way we're going to get gun control is going to be about background checks. it's going to come through the senate. got to stick his neck out and do something on background checks right away. thank you david corn and michael scherer. up next, why does the gop, the guns over the people party, keep saying crazy things about president obama's modest gun safety proposals? the president's trying to do the reasonable thing yet the people on the nra right are going nuts over this. they're armying up for the final struggle against the government, the elected government. this is "hardball," the place for politics. well, the right wing hawks are on thin ice after this from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them.
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visit usps.com pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪ thank you. officemax can help you drive suand down.s down... use your maxperks card and get a 10-ream case of officemax multiuse paper for just 4.99 after maxperks rewards. find thousands of big deals now... at officemax. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. with three of your daily vegetable servings we've decided to we're all having such a great year in the gulf, put aside our rivalry. 'cause all our states are great. and now is when the gulf gets even better. the beaches and waters
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couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride or just lay in the sun. enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty. and don't forget our amazing seafood. so come to the gulf, you'll have a great time. especially in alabama. you mean mississippi. that's florida. say louisiana or there's no dessert. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. well, the right wing hawks are on thin ice after this tuesday's election in israel. benjamin netanyahu's party was expected to win big. but the big surprise was the rise of the new center. the center left party which means there is a future. right now will control 60 seats. and his rivals on the center left and left will have 60 as well. and that could force netanyahu to make peace overtures or possibly lose his job. we'll be right back.
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custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at constantcontact.com/try. for now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. we cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name calling as reasoned debate. >> welcome back to "hardball." those lines in the president's inaugural address don't exactly sound like fighting words, do they? but to nra's wayne lapierre, that's what they are. at an awards ceremony last night, he the leader of the nra explained why. >> obama wants to turn the idea
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of absolutism into a dirty word. just another word for extremism. he wants you, all of you, and americans throughout all of this country to accept the idea of principles as he sees fit. there's only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners. it's the only reason. and anyone who says that's excessive president obama says you're an absolutist. >> well, the nra has been unapologetic in its defense of gun rights, of course, fighting even nationally popular controls like background checks and ammunition limits. in fact, the nation's gun extremists out there have hit the panic button in their delusional belief that president obama sits atop a tyrannical government in their delusion to take away guns. joining me dana will bank and former san francisco mayor willie brown. i want to go to mayor brown on this. it just seems to me there are other reasons to have lists of
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people buying guns, especially semiautomatic rifles, mayor. they have fingerprints on people out there. we don't collect people's hands. this is an absurd lie. of course there are reasons to want to know who buys certain guns. maybe we should have ballistic tests on everything so we have know who kills somebody. your thoughts. are they crazy or smart or both? >> no, i think they're absolutely crazy. i think they are desperately trying as best they can to overcome what obviously is a movement towards some form of gun control, no matter how modest. the most recent incidents involving people who obviously were out of their minds using weapons on children and otherwise has caused panic among the gunowners of america. and in particular, the man whom you had quoted just a minute ago. his reaction is exactly that, of a desperate person trying to stave off what has turned into a basically popular movement. >> you know, if someone came
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into a gun store and was behaving erratically and looked like they had a mental or emotional problem, a severe one, would somebody sell them a gun? and if not, which is reasonable to assume i think they would not, would one have help in finding out which people have the problems before you sell them guns, like a background check? >> they might not sell it in a gun store, but the guy can go to the gun show and get it there. that's the loophole that has been making a lie of all the gun regulations. i think the mayor is half right this that the nra is crazy, but they're also smart too. of course -- there is nothing ever been absolute about the second amendment. we can't fire, you know, shoulder-held missile launchers in airports. >> or even have access to an automatic weapon. >> of course it's absurd. but he is not talking to you and me. he is not talking to america. he is talking to a fairly slim slice of the electorate that controls the house republicans and also has a lot of influence over democratic senators from rural states.
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>> the nra's lapierre, that's wayne lapierre, you just saw them set up an us versus them dynamic saying gunowners would stand their ground. let's listen. >> we are not people to be trivialized, marginalized, or demonized as unreasonable. we're not children who need to be parented or misguided, bitter clingers to guns and religion. we believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semiautomatic firearms technology. we believe that if neither the criminal nor the political class and their bodyguards and security people are limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn't be limited in our capacity either. >> you know, mayor, your thoughts. he is basically saying we got to arm people or allow them to be armed up to the armed power of the united states government. this is really something. this is about passey comitatus.
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this isn't about sportsmanship or about self protection, it's about insurrection. it's about fighting the revenuers again. >> and he is totally misleading his people. he knows that anyone who works for the government in any capacity with the firearm is severely reviewed before they're allowed to touch a firearm. they are required to be skillful. they are required to report in. they are required to be held accountable for every use of that firearm, something that this man obviously would oppose. if he is telling his people he wishes the same privilege for them, then coming with that must be the same responsibility. he is totally ignoring that. and believe me, that limited number of people to whom he is speaking is becoming fewer and fewer in every incident. >> yes or no, are they going get
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gun control of any kind this year? >> well, they may get some small things, but the assault ban is dead. it's going to be very hard to get. >> i hope they're going to get background check. i think we can really get that done if harry reid will get moving and not wait for the house to do it. thank you, dana milbank. thank you, mayor brown. thank you for coming on from california. when we return, we finish with hillary clinton's strong performance, back and better than ever, you would have to say in that tv performance, an all-day performance. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. our financial advice is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings retirement advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa.
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